A letter comparing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to Adolf Hitler’s leadership in Germany went viral over the weekend. In the letter addressed to America, “The people of Germany” sarcastically warned the country about voting for Trump as the next president.
The note asks Americans “What could possibly go wrong?” when voting for a man “with a loud voice who “claims he alone can fix everything.” The letter ends with the hashtag “#beentheredonethat,” a reference to Hitler.
The author of the note, Johan Franklin, explained the point was not to slam Trump but rather bring attention to his popularity. "I know the Hitler comparison was pretty crude," he told BBC. "It didn't have much to do with Trump himself, rather that, regardless of what he said and did, he continued to gather people behind him," he said.
Franklin, who works in San Diego, California, is actually a German citizen. “I got frightened when trying to talk to Trump supporters within my circle of friends and colleagues and I started to see parallels to what my grandparents and other folks back home told me about what happened in Germany back in the 1930s," he stated.
The letter gained plenty of popularity. "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling tweeted the letter before it was later retweeted by thousands of her more than 8.5 million Twitter followers. Hillary Clinton supporter Mikey Walsh also shared the post. Although he has more than 12,000 followers, the post was retweeted more than 15,000 times.
Along with praise the letter also received backlash, some people even accused the author of working for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Franklin later wrote another letter titled “Dear Internet,” in which he explained that he was not an employee of the democratic candidate.
Although his letter does not speak for the people of Germany, a recent survey published by YouGov found that 65 percent of Germans would feel “Afraid” if Trump was elected president whereas 30 percent would feel “Angry,” 36 percent would feel “Disappointed” and 2 percent would be “Happy.”